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The key questions Wenger has to answer to beat Mourinho one final time

Arsene Wenger will take on Manchester United and Jose Mourinho for one final time as Arsenal manager on Sunday but it is fair to say that it is unlikely to be one of the more epic encounters in the rivalry between the clubs and the managers.

The Gunners will have more than one eye on the second leg of their Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid, and while United need the points to come second in the Premier League, it is a far cry from the title battles of days gone by.

That said, it’s still Manchester United v Arsenal, it’s still Mourinho v Wenger and that means something, regardless of the context and there is of course an added dimension because it forms part of Wenger’s lap of honour before he steps down.

That means that Wenger does have some key questions to answer ahead of the trip to Old Trafford and we’ve taken a closer look at some of the most pressing…

How many big guns does he rest?

That second leg against Atletico undoubtedly takes priority over this clash, regardless of the historical significance of the matches between the two sides and that means Wenger needs his best players fit and firing next Thursday.

The temptation must be to rest all of his big hitters, but he doesn’t want to risk taking a thrashing that would again sour the mood of the fans and deflate all momentum ahead of the trip to Madrid.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will start as he is cup-tied in midweek but apart from him, there aren’t too many guaranteed starters.

A win at Old Trafford would get the fans and players believing that doing the same in Spain is a possibility, but Wenger will not want to exhaust his players in pursuit of it.

Take the game to United or sit off?

Arsene Wenger has turned down a lucrative offer to manage Paris Saint Germain

Mourinho has an outstanding record against Wenger and it has largely been built on allowing Arsenal to come onto his side.

Then, because the Gunners have generally lacked the requisite quality to make their possession pay, the Portuguese pragmatist instructs his players to pick them off on the counter attack, using their superior pace and power.

If Wenger makes changes on Sunday, a similar pattern could emerge. With United likely to field their strongest team, this might be a rare occasion when Wenger wants his sides to be the ones to soak up pressure, exploiting the lack of fluidity that is still an issue for the home attack.

Then again, fielding a weakened team and telling them to play on the back foot against a confident United could be setting his side up for a fall. It’s a huge decision for Wenger.

Is Alexis United’s biggest threat?

Sanchez has struggled for form since his January move to Old Trafford, much to the delight of the Arsenal fans but he announced himself as a United player with a man of the match performance at Wembley against Spurs last weekend.

This is a match in which the Chilean will be again be determined to prove a point to his old employers and build some form ahead of the FA Cup final next month against Chelsea.

A weakened Gunners side could provide the perfect fodder for Sanchez to show his old club exactly what they’re missing.

Article title: The key questions Wenger has to answer to beat Mourinho one final time

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